American literature is more than literature written by Americans. Defining America as a unique culture didn’t come as quickly as declaring our independence. We were still (and still are) strongly influenced by Europe, in particular.
While we are a melting pot country, the flavors influencing our literature continues. We have our own identity but what is it?
Scholars debate who was our first truly “American” writer. Many consider this to be Edgar Allan Poe or Washington Irving. Native Americans, of course, were here long before them. Expect complicated and interesting discussions.
We’ll look at those writers considered part of the American literary canon. We’ll also examine a few in-depth. In the process, we’ll learn history, sociology, law, religion, and more.
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